Summary: Someone is spilling Buffy's secrets.
Disclaimer: I don't any of the BtVS characters. They belong to the great Joss Whedon, WB, the Arrrggg people, etc. The idea is mine. The characters are always returned unharmed so please don't sue.
Author's Notes: This story takes place a little after the episode "Ted."
Feedback: I love feedback, even flames as long as they're constructive. PLEASE send feedback to lalaland(at)3n.net
It is early night and Angel and Buffy are kissing at Buffy's bedroom window. A bag half filled with slaying equipment is near her closet. Her trunk filled with more slaying equipment is open and her drawer containing stakes and crosses is pulled out. Buffy and Angel finish the kiss and slowly pull away. "You should finish packing for the hunt," Angel says.
"Giles will want us to meet him at the library before we go hunting," she murmurs back as they are once again pulled into a kiss.
"BUFFY!!" a shout comes from downstairs intruding on the kiss.
"Coming!" Buffy calls back. She looks apologetically back at Angel.
"I know, I'll meet you at the library," he says and kisses her gently before disappearing from sight.
Buffy sighs as she runs out her bedroom door. Her mother is standing at the bottom of the stairs with a note in one hand and a couple of photos in the other. "Buffy you have a lot of explaining to do. How could you have done this?? Is it true?? I mean setting fire to a building is one thing but MURDER?? and a LOVER?!?!" yells Joyce Summers, working herself into a frenzy.
"Whoa, Mom. STOP! Calm down. I have no idea what you're talking about," Buffy says trying to calm her mom and make sense of what she was saying.
"Here!" Joyce says handing Buffy the note, "Now Explain!!"
The note reads:
"Dear Ms. Summers,
I regret to inform you that your daughter is involved in the activities of a gang of murderers here in Sunnydale. I believe that she was brought into the gang by the elusive gang leader. He goes by the name of Angel. He is a tall, has dark hair, and is about college age. Your daughter has been seen with him and from their actions they seem to be lovers. The photos include all members of the gang except for Angel.
Authorities are at this minute collecting evidence and the gang will soon be arrested and brought to court. If you keep your daughter away from the gang she might have a chance at not being arrested with them or only brought up on charges as an accomplice to earlier crimes. The gang is getting worse and worse everyday. I hope you have a chance of getting your daughter out while she'll only get a few years.
Buffy's jaw drops open as she reads the note. She can barely believe what she's reading. "Mom, it's not true. I swear. This is all a bunch of lies! And Angel and I are NOT lovers!" Buffy stammers, hysterics creeping into her voice.
"There's proof look at these pictures," her mother shot back handing her the pictures, "There's a picture of you KILLING a man!! Buffy how could you??"
Buffy quickly riffles through the pictures. There's one of her and Giles during a training session, one of her, Willow, Xander, and Cordelia making stakes with Giles at his books and Ms. Calendar at the computer, one of her tackling the police woman at school (an assassin), one of her killing the assassin at the skating rink (Angel doesn't show up 'cause he's a vampire), and one of her and Kendra threatening Willy (guy who owns bar). Buffy looks at the pictures and doesn't know how to explain these to her mother without telling the truth. And telling the truth could lead to her mother getting into danger, but someone's targeting her mother already. Thoughts whirl through Buffy's head as she tries to decide on whether or not to tell the truth, and if not what to tell her. Suddenly a glorious thought comes to mind; Giles. She'll let him explain and decide, he's better at explaining anyway. "Mom calm down. I can't explain this, but I can take you to someone who can explain. I'm just going to call and tell him were coming then we can go and get this whole thing straightened out," she says as she dashes up the stairs without waiting for a reply. When Buffy gets to her room she calls Giles and tells him what's going. She tells him that he can either decide to tell her mother the truth or he can make up a story, fast. She also tells him to tell Angel to stay out of sight. When she gets off the phone and looks around at her half finished preparations for hunting, she decides to finish packing and bring everything along. Someone was behind that note, and for once, she hoped that someone was a vampire.
Joyce looks exasperatedly after her daughter and is about to follow her, when there is a knock at the door. She opens the door and to find a strange man. "Hello, Ms. Summers. I'm here to talk to you about your daughter," he says.
"Oh god, what's she done now?" Joyce says, wondering what else Buffy could possible have done.
"If I may come in, I'll--"
"Oh, yes. Of course, come right in," she says stepping out of the way to let him pass.
"Actually," he says stepping in, "I'm really just here to make sure you got the note and pictures I sent you."
"You sent that note?"
"Yes. I would have delivered my message personally, but I thought it better if you had time to digest the news and see the evidence before you had to face anyone," he says in a kind voice, though his eyes show only evil.
"Thank you. I can hardly believe it. She says there's an explanation, yet she won't explain. I don't know what to do"
"That's why I'm here. I have some suggestions on how to deal with your daughter."
"Oh thank you. I would love to hear --" her reply is cut short by a frantic pounding on the door. The man looks angry and annoyed as he follows Joyce to the door. She opens the door to see a slightly bedraggled Angel. When the man see Angel he changes into a vampire and bares his teeth getting ready to feed on Joyce from behind. Angel leaps at the man and knocks him over. Angel quickly pins the now ordinary looking vampire with a hand at his neck.
"BUFFY!!" he yells up the stairs.
"Run!!" the vampire yells to Joyce, "My friends will protect you."
Joyce takes a quick look at the scene and runs for the door. Angel leaps up and catches her before she gets out the door. He shoves her into the living room and she tumbles over the couch as the vampire attacks him from behind. Angel throws him off and they slowly circle each other. As the vampire puts his back to the stairs, Buffy tackles him from behind. With Angel's help, she quickly pins the vampire. "Where's my Mom? and what is this guy doing in my house?" Buffy asks.
"I'm right here," Joyce replies, getting up from behind the sofa, "And let that poor man up. He's a guest in this house. Your friend there barged in and tackled him."
"Hold him please," Buffy asks Angel. Angel takes charge of the vampire without a word, as Buffy turns toward her Mom. "This 'poor man' as you call him, was probably sent here to kill you. Now I told you, everything will be explained just as soon as I can figure out what's going on. So," she says turning to Angel, "how did you know to come to the rescue?"
"I saw seven...," he pauses looking at Joyce, "enemies heading towards the back side of the house. I was able to... take out three of them before I saw this one come in the front door. I knew he must be up to no good, so I came pounding on the front door. It definitely looks as if this was organized."
"Yeah, this probably has something to do with the note and photos too. I'll explain later," she said in response to his quizzical glance, "Oh my god, Giles!!" Buffy rushes out of the room and into the kitchen where she picks up the phone. Joyce seeing her opportunity advances on Angel.
"You! You're the one who got Buffy into all this, didn't you? Well, you had better stay THE HELL AWAY from MY daughter!! And if you so much as LAY A HAND ON HER I SWEAR, YOU'LL REGRET IT!!!" Joyce yells at the bewildered Angel.
"MOM!! What are you doing?? I told you that note is lies. And besides, you can't tell me who I can be friends with, or who I date!" Buffy yells coming back from the kitchen.
"You were doing so well until you met him. If it weren't for him you wouldn't be getting into so much trouble," Joyce shot back.
"Mrs. Summers, I try to keep Buffy out of trouble and I would do anything to keep her from harm," Angel says solemnly.
"Right and the same goes for me Mom, so sit down and be quiet or I'll have to gag and hobble you 'till we get to Giles house," Buffy adds. Joyce mollified by her daughters threat and Angel's claim of devotion sits quietly on the couch. "So, let's see what he knows," Buffy says coldly turning back to look at the vampire still pinned to the floor.
"Shouldn't we go in the kitchen?" Angel asks, wondering what Mrs. Summers will think.
"No," Buffy says simply, before beginning.
Buffy and Angel slowly pump the vampire for information, alternately threatening him and torturing him. Despite attempts with holy water and the breaking of almost every bone in his body, they could not get him to tell who the mastermind is. They do however get him to admit that he was sent here to try and turn Joyce against Buffy, and that if he couldn't he was supposed to capture her with the help of his friends.
Joyce watches for a moment, as Angel and Buffy begin the inquisition, before turning away in horror as the first bone was broken. How could this cold efficient interrogator be her daughter? She could not bear to watch as her daughter and this Angel tortured this man as if he wasn't even human. He certainly didn't sound human as they tortured him, but who could blame him. She glances back at a particularly terrible scream and lets out a scream herself. The man's face looks like nothing human. Buffy looks up at the horror on her mother's face. "We've got as much as were going to get out of him," she tells Angel handing him a stake, "Why don't you take him into the kitchen. Mom, believe it or not, we didn't do that to his face. That's one of the things Giles is going to explain to you."
Buffy takes a step towards her mother, but her mother pulls away in fear. Angel returns from the kitchen to see a hurt Buffy, and her frightened mother. He puts his hand on Buffy's shoulder comfortingly. "His friends were probably scarred away by his screams," Angel says quietly.
"Or they think the screams belong to my mother. We had better check before we make for the car. The roof will be the best vantage point," she replies taking a momentary comfort in his touch. Joyce remains on the couch as Buffy and Angel go up the stairs. Buffy hands Angel two stakes and takes two herself as they head out her bedroom window.
"What's up with your mother? and her sudden dislike of me?" Angel asks as they enter her room.
"Mom got a note that says the whole gang is a lot of cold-blooded killers. You are portrayed as the leader and that we're..." she says quickly before coming to a blushing stop.
"Lovers?" Angel asks softly. Buffy nods her head. There is an awkward silence for a moment. "I take it she didn't belive you when you told her we aren't."
"No, I'm taking her to Giles so that he can explain us out of the killers thing, but I don't know if she'll every believe me about this," she said sadly. "Oh, well. To get her to Giles we're going to half to clear the area first," she said climbing out the window.
The vampires were still circling the house trying to figure out what was going on inside. Buffy and Angel easily pick them off and return through her window. They return downstairs with a gym bag slung over Buffy's shoulder. "Time to go," Buffy says, opening the front door.
Joyce slowly gets up, grabs her purse, and walks out the door. They pile into the car and drive to Giles house.
Buffy knocks on the door of Giles house. The door swings open and she comes face to face with a crossbow. "Chill Giles," Buffy says inching past the crossbow.
"Oh sorry," Giles replies, "Come right in Angel, Mrs. Summers." Joyce enters hesitantly, followed by Angel. Giles living room is sparsely furnished with a couch and arm chair that face each other, two lamps, and a large desk in the corner covered in books and scattered papers. When Joyce enters, she sees everyone from the pictures waiting in the living room. Willow sits on one end of the couch, Xander and Cordelia sit side by side on the floor between the couch and the armchair, Ms. Calendar sits in the armchair, and Buffy stands behind the couch with her back to her mother. Angel leads Joyce over to the couch and sits her down next to Willow. Ms. Calendar comes and sits on the other side of her, clasping one of her hands in friendly support. Angel and Buffy stand together while Giles sits down.
"Here you go, Giles," Buffy says handing the note and pictures to him, "I can identify all, but one, of the pictures to have been taken while the assassins were here." Buffy's mother gasps. Giles gives Buffy a short warning look before nodding for her to continue and returning his eyes to the letter. "There is at least one of each of us," she continued "The note basically says we are all ax-murders, and that Angel's the leader. It goes into much more detail, but it's all lies. The note was intended to turn Mom against me. Whoever sent the note, also sent a flunky to kidnap Mom if she didn't seem so anti-Buffy. She saw his true face Giles, time to tell Mom about the vampires and the slayers." Everyone turned towards her startled as she delivered this short and quickly delivered speech.
"Vampires?!?" Joyce repeats incredulously.
"Yeah, Vampires, demons, and mean, ugly things roam Sunnydale. Buffy's the slayer, so therefore she slays all evil things," Cordelia says bluntly.
"Cordelia!!" Willow and Buffy chorus.
"You're being so blunt. Besides you left out the part that we help and Buffy being superstrong," Willow adds trying to comfort Joyce and completely failing.
"Can anyone say subtlety here," Xander says exasperatedly.
"Vampires and demons?! Look you may have fallen for that but I want the real story," Joyce says turning to look at her daughter, her eyes filled with distrust, anger, and a little fear.
"Well we can prove it. Angel, why don't you show her your a--OOWW!!" Xander said as Willow kicks him and Cordy hits him cutting off his sentence.
"Rupert, I think this needs help from an expert," Ms. Calendar says shooting Xander an evil look.
"Yeah, you were trained to break the bad news to me. Just use the same technique on Mom," Buffy says a little sarcastically remembering how Giles had confronted her about being the slayer. Giles looks up with a hint of pain in his eyes. "I'm sorry Giles. This really needs the help of the expert explainer, just try to make sure it's all in English o.k.?" Buffy says in her sweetest voice.
"Right, I would just like to ask you if this... uh...lovers business in the letter is true?" Giles asked as a chorus of gasps emerged from around the room. Ms. Calendar's head snaps round to stare at the two.
"No!" Buffy and Angel reply, Angel exasperatedly and Buffy with steel in her voice.
Joyce looks at Buffy with a look of disbelief before turning her attention to Giles who was beginning his speech. Buffy hears Giles begin, but pays no attention to the words. She can only think of escape from the judgment around her. She flees into the dark hallway. Angel comes up behind her and wraps his arms around her comfortingly. She turns around and cries quietly into his shoulder, thankful for the surrounding darkness. He whispers comforting words into her hair. Slowly she finishes crying and they talk in the darkness. They comfort each other and share a passionate kiss. They remain encircled in each other's arms and listen as Giles tries to convince Buffy's mother of the truth. They even laugh when the hear Giles mumble about knowing where Buffy got her stubbornness from. Finally they come out of the darkness. Buffy's mother is sitting with her stubborn disbelief etched on her face. Ms. Calendar is now standing over Giles, trying to calm him down. "Is there anyway I can help prove I'm the slayer?" Buffy asks.
"Yes," Giles replies hopefully, "you can show your unnatural strength. Wait just a minute." Giles rushes into the kitchen. Joyce looks around at Buffy and Angel (who has his arms around Buffy's waist) with daggers in her eyes. This only causes Buffy to pull Angel closer. With her mother turning on her, she feels like he is all she has to cling to for total love and support. Giles comes back with a long metal bar. "I was going to use this to reinforce the dummy you keep breaking," Giles says handing it to her. Buffy takes the metal bar and slowly pulls it out longer and thinner. Then she slowly bends the metal into a complete loop. Her mother first looks on with disbelief. Slowly her eyes get bigger and bigger. Buffy hands her the loop of metal. Joyce tries to bend it without luck.
Joyce looks up with amazement in her eyes as she realizes what this piece of metal means. "Oh my," she says, "I'm not sure I understand, but I'm convince. I still don't like him though." Joyce gives a mean look to Angel.
Buffy moans, but changes the subject to finding out who's behind the note and who's trying to pit her and her mother against each other. Giles begins mumbling and pacing. talking about books he'll need and where to start. He stops in a moment of inspiration and looks up at Angel. "Angel, could you possibly tell who sent the note by the handwriting, or perhaps the wording?"
"I can try," Angel says, taking the note from Giles. As Angel takes the note, a growl escapes from his throat and a pained look covers his face.
As Angel takes the note, a growl escapes from his throat and a pained look covers his face. Buffy worriedly takes a step towards him. Slowly Angel regains control and the expression of pain leaves his face. He looks up to the frightened and concerned faces surrounding him. He sees the look on Buffy's face, and gives her a smile. He lovingly takes her hand and they sit down opposite Xander and Cordy. "It's from Dru," Angel says throwing the note into the center. He is answered by a chorus of gasps and groans.
"But she died in the fire. Fire still kills vampires right?" asks Cordelia.
"Yes, but did anyone actually see her turn to dust?" Giles replies.
"No," Buffy answers glumly, "She and Spike were whole when the piano fell on them. Kendra and I were helping Angel out, so neither of us checked. Since it was Slayer duty I guess no one else checked." A general shaking of heads.
"Wait a minute who's Dru? and who's Kendra?" Joyce asks, totally bewildered.
"Drusilla, or Dru, is a very powerful vampire when she's at full strength. She's also quite mad. Since a incident some time back, she has been in an incredibly weakened state. The last time we saw her, we were trying to stop a magical ceremony which would put her back in full health. If she is alive, that most likely means she's much stronger than last time if not a full strength. It also means that Spike is probably alive," explains Giles, "Angel, how do you know the notes from Drusilla?"
"The notes in her handwriting and it has her smell," Angel replies.
"Smell?" asks Willow.
"At least part of that notes written in her blood."
"Eewww!!" Xander says dropping the note.
"She wrote the note with her own blood?" Joyce gasps.
"We did say she was mad," Giles replies, "The important thing now is to make a plan." Everyone agrees, but not on the plan itself. They talk long into the night. Finally a plan is decided on. It's decided that they needed to a least scare Drusilla if they can't kill her. Since vampires are weakest during the day, they will attack shortly after dawn. Angel has dislikes the plan and says so. It is however the one most likely to work and everyone agrees on it in the end. It's agreed that Angel will stay at Giles and at sunrise Joyce will go home. The rest of them will go face Drusilla and Spike. Angel describes how to get to Dru and Spike's hideout through the sewers. As the sun peeks over the horizon all but Angel and Joyce pack into Gile's and Ms. Calendar's car. Joyce takes her own car home.
The first stop they make is at Willow's house. She pulls up a blue print of the Sunnydale sewer system and figures out where the hideout is. Then they stop at the Library and Giles goes in and picks up a supply of weapons. He's the only one that goes in though since it is officially a school day. It figures the Drusilla wouldn't make things easy. They drive to the hideout, which turns out to be a warehouse on the far side of town. The warehouse is almost totally made of windows after about six feet up. All the windows have been painted black several times, so that no light gets through them. Everyone quietly arms themselves with stones and picks a window or two on the east side since it is still morning. Buffy uses her Slayer hearing to listen at the door. There's quiet a commotion inside. Vampires are gathering. Drusilla and Spike are at the center of it all, getting reports on what happened. Soon after Buffy starts listening though, Dru stops talking. Spike however is still yelling at people and trying to get them to all shut up long enough for him to figure out what happened last night.
After a few moments, Spike stops yelling. "Spike," Dru whispers, "I can feel her."
"Who darling?" Spike asks.
"The Slayer. She's listening."
"Love, this Slayer goes to school remember. She's probably listening to a teacher or something."
"No. Her presence is strong. She's very close."
"If she's close there'll be trouble. Time to go somewhere safe Love. SHUT UP, ALL YOU!! We're--"
Buffy doesn't wait to listen. "NOW!!" she yells as she throws a rock at a window. Many other rocks follow hers, and sunlight pours into the warehouse. Vampires puff into ashes as the second round comes crashing through more of the windows. Spike makes a run for the dark corner that holds the sewer entrance, and Drusilla is two steps ahead of him. A third round of rocks crash through the windows as Buffy kicks down the door. They come in to see vampires hiding in small patches of darkness and shadow, dozens of piles of ashes, and the backs of vampires heading down a dark hallway and down a sewer opening. Buffy chases the fleeing vampires, while the others spread out to kill the vampires trapped in shadows, as well as break more windows. Buffy runs down the hallway to find another room and a gang of vampires pushing to get down a sewer opening. There are few windows, but not many. She throws a rock at one of them as the vampires turn to attack. As the first vampire attacks others puff into ashes from the sunlight. With the sunlight as her ally, she is able to dispose of most of the vampires by either staking them or pushing them into the sunlight. The rest escaped down the sewer. When she returns to the main room, all the vampires have been killed. Giles and Xander are pouring a huge bucket of holy water down the sewer entrance. "That'll make 'em dance," she says.
"We can hope so anyway," Giles replies. "Do you know if Spike and Drusilla got away?"
"I think so. They were talking about leaving before I gave the signal," Buffy replies looking around the room. All but the top row of windows has been broken and there are ashes everywhere. She picks up a candlestick and throws it carelessly at an upper window, shattering it.
"I'd like to stay and see if I can find any books or artifacts that may be useful," Giles says as they pack up.
"You better not stay here alone. You may find a vampire hiding in a back room," Buffy says. Ms Calendar and the others return to school, as Giles and Buffy slowly make there way through the rooms. Giles finds a few books, but their biggest find is Dru's room.
The room holds little in the way of furniture. Only a canopy bed, and a desk with writing paper and blood stains on it. Lining one wall is a shelf lined with antique porcelain dolls. Buffy picks up a doll and is about to smash it when Giles shouts.
"Don't!!" he cries, "If Dru's alive, destroying her room will only make her more angry and in the past making her angry as only succeeded in making her more unpredictable."
"But then this is for nothing!!" Buffy exclaimes, "By breaking into her home we'll have angered her already, so why can't I trash her room too?!"
"Because, her home has never seemed that important to her. She moves a great deal, but this stuff must have taken at least a couple of decades to collect, which means that she brings this stuff with her and that it is valuable to her."
"Fine! But I'm going to at least break one thing as a warning," Buffy replies throwing the porcelain doll to the floor. She then quickly writes a note to Dru that says that if Dru ever tries to harm her mother again, that she will destroy all of her dolls. Giles sighs, but is glad that Buffy at least won't break anymore dolls. They leave the warehouse around noon, and Giles drops Buffy off at home. Giles says she should go to school, but family does come first.
Buffy and her Mom have a long talk. Joyce accepts her daughter as the Slayer and says that she understands that she can take care of herself, but as a mother she will always worry about her daughter. Buffy explains about how to protect yourself from vampires. She tells her about holy water, crosses, stakes, garlic, sunlight, and not coming in unless invited. Her mother also agrees to give Angel a chance although she still can't understand why he wouldn't go with Buffy and the others this morning. Especially if he cared so much. Buffy laughs and only says the she has had enough shocks to last her at least a week. The shock that comes with that why, can wait.
That night Angel comes to the door to pick Buffy up for hunting. "I'm sorry for pushing you into the living room last night, Ms. Summers, but you were headed for three vampires," Angel says as an apology. Joyce is civil and the two uncomfortably try to make small talk while waiting for Buffy to appear. Buffy smiles to herself watching them, before coming to the door and relieving the tension by leaving with Angel.
"I'm surprised that your mom is being so nice to me. Last night, it looked like she hated me," Angel replies carefully, trying not to anger Buffy.
"She actually adjusted pretty quickly once she got home and had time to think things over," Buffy replies lightly. "Of course," she adds with a smile, "It helps that she doesn't know you're a vampire." Angel stops dead in his tracks and turns towards Buffy, his eyes wide in disbelief, clearly showing that he thought she knew. Before he has a chance to comment though, Buffy kisses him. The thought is swept away by her love. He returns the kiss and lets himself be taken away by it.
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